Blackberry Smoke: The Whippoorwill

Southern rock heroes finally set up camp in the UK

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Two years ago, when Hammer asked Gary Rossington about bands equipped to follow in the footsteps of Lynyrd Skynyrd, two names sprang to the lips of their final surviving member. His first tip, Black Stone Cherry, are already established in this country, but with Blackberry Smoke it's a different tale.

The Georgia based quintet have delivered three albums in a 14 year career, this being the first to be released domestically. Full of delightful songs with the potential to become valued old friends, The Whippoorwill traverses various moods, from Shaking Hands With The Holy Ghost’s ZZ Top-esque barroom boogie to Six Ways To Sunday, which jitterbugs along with the Black Crowes to the blue-collar melancholy of One Horse Town, and at its most laid back, I ain’t Got The Blues sounds like a whiskey soaked porch jam at sunset.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.